How to document a client's network

Here's a simple roadmap and template on how to document a client's network.

August 22nd, 2006 • HowTo •
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One of my clients wanted to know if I could provide them with some documentation on how I set up their network. The documentation would include DNS, DHCP, Network Mappings, PC Naming, and other miscellaneous notes just in case the network went down.

After looking over the network, I came up with five (six with screenshots) worksheets (so far) in an Excel spreadsheet that encompasses the infrastructure of the network:

  • Server
    • General
    • Security
    • Mappings
  • PC Naming Standards
  • Employee Naming
  • Router Settings

Server (General)

The General worksheet takes all of the domain settings and puts it all on one page. The page includes all of the IPCONFIG /ALL information.

Server (Security)

The Security worksheet shows what groupings are available on the server, the directories available to the users, and what groups a user is located in.

Server (Mappings)

The users have access to specific directories on the server. This worksheet maps out which drives become available to them when they log onto the server.

PC Naming Standards

The servers need a standard naming convention and documenting those up front makes naming the PCs easier in the future.

Employee Naming

Not only do the servers need a standard naming convention, so do the employee’s PCs. A standard naming convention for client PCs can have the first name initial and the full last name as a login and the password has to be secret. No one needs to know the password, including the employer. If someone wants to access a user’s account, you need to reset the password on the server and access it that way.

Router Settings

These include screenshots of the router settings. There should be a screenshot for each screen that doesn't have default values in them, meaning if you didn't change anything on the screen, don't capture the screen. I've added 4-5 screenshots to the document.

After creating this document, I printed out each worksheet and added them to a binder with the client’s logo on the front of it. Each section was made with dividers so other network documentation can be added later in case I missed something of importance.

The network documentation is available for download if you want to use it for your own clients. If you want to add more to it, by all means, go ahead. Just let me know what I’m missing.  :-)

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Picture of Jonathan Danylko

Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "Programming."

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